Archive for November 21, 2010

idiom: to bend over backwards

bending_over_backwards

Have you ever tried really hard to please someone? If so, you can use today’s idiom to describe that situation. We can use the idiom to “bend over backwards”, when we want to talk about making a big effort to make another person happy. For example:

I really liked the service at the hotel where I stayed in Singapore. The staff just bent over backwards for me.

I can’t believe how ungrateful my husband is! I bend over backwards to cook and clean for him, but he never appreciates anything I do!

A: I hope I get a promotion this year.

B: I’m sure you will. You bend over backwards for everyone in this office, and I’m sure you boss has noticed that.

I’m so angry right now! I invited my friend to dinner last night. I bent over backwards to make a nice dinner for her, but then she cancelled at the last minute!

So when we use this expression, the effort that we make for the other person can either be appreciated or not. If we make a big effort for someone but the result is that they don’t care about our effort, we always use the word “but” in the sentence (as in the second and fourth examples).

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